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Dolcetto | Grape variety

Dolcetto | Grape variety

Dolcetto is a dark-skinned grape from the hills of Monferrato in northwestern Italy. The grape produces soft, fruity wines that range in color from deep ruby red to purple. A typical Dolcetto wine has an intense and bright color and offers dark, slightly spicy aromas with earthy undertones of almonds - or walnuts in more tannic examples. As the wines are generally not suitable for long aging, they should be drunk within three or four years of harvest. The wines are characterized above all by their low acidity, from which derives the name of the variety, which means 'little sweet'. Those who know Italian might understandably assume that all Dolcetto wines are sweet. In fact, sweet Dolcetto wines are rather a rarity.

Dolcetto, often considered the third red grape of Piedmont, is historically something of a poor cousin to Nebbiolo and Barbera. As a result, this adaptable, early-ripening grape is often grown in cooler sites where Nebbiolo, in particular, would struggle to ripen. These plots are often at higher elevations. These cooler sites also help the variety maintain its acidity and not ripen too early (it already ripens a few weeks before Nebbiolo). This can be an important balancing factor for many modern Dolcetto varietals from throughout Piedmont. - Gerardo

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Dolcetto | Grape variety | Buy at Gerardo

Dolcetto is a red grape variety from Italy, grown primarily in Piedmont. Dolcetto grapes yield a dry, smooth and well-balanced wine which is usually drunk young. There are many stories surrounding the name Dolcetto, the most popular claiming the name derives from 'the little sweet" - referring to the grapes' attraction to insects. Dolcetto wines, however, are always dry, albeit characterized by mildness.

The early-ripening, low-acid red grape variety Dolcetto is grown almost exclusively in the provinces of Cuneo and Alessandria in Piedmont. Its wines are mild, round and fruity-scented and drink best young. There are seven DOC areas for Dolcetto, in quality Alba is considered the finest, but good wines also come from the outlying areas.

Dolcetto is a typical, autochthonous grape variety of Piedmont and widely appreciated and loved as a table wine. The grape prefers calcareous marl and hilly areas between 250 and 600m above sea level. The cradle of Dolcetto is in the Langa, where this grape variety has shared the successes and hardships of the rural population over the centuries. The grape variety is not particularly productive, but of easy handling with a natural resistance to diseases - besides, the Dolcetto has always known how to offer its ripe, sweet fruit to the winegrowers for the table. Hence the name, where the 'dolce' refers to the particular sweetness of the pulp. The wines made from the grape, on the other hand, are exclusively fermented and therefore decidedly dry, with restrained acidity and mild tannins. - Gerardo